Tag Archives: tequila aficionado

Sipping Off The Cuff: Titanium Tequila Blanco

titanium_blancoTequila Aficionado’s Alexander Perez and M.A. “Mike” Morales taste and discuss Titanium Tequila Blanco and nominate it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards. See why here.

Visit Titanium Tequila online here.

According to Titanium:

OUR LUXURY TEQUILA’S BEGIN WITH THE WORLD’S FINEST 100% TEQUILANA BLUE WEBER AGAVE GROWN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF JALISCO, MEXICO. EACH OF OUR AGAVE PLANTS ARE HAND SELECTED AT THE PEAK OF THEIR MATURITY FULL OF SWEETNESS AND ROBUST FLAVOR. AFTER HARVESTING THE AGAVE OUR JIMADORS CAREFULLY CUT THE AGAVE DOWN TO THE “PIÑA”, OR HEART, LEAVING ONLY THE PUREST PART OF THE AGAVE PLANT FOR OUR TEQUILA’S. OUR AGAVE IS THE HIGHEST QUALITY AGAVE FOUND IN THE WORLD CREATING A TEQUILA LIKE NO OTHER.

OUR PIÑA IS THEN SLOWLY ROASTED IN A STAINLESS STEEL AUTOCLAVE. THIS COOKING PROCESS IS IMPORTANT IN ALLOWING FOR A CONSISTENT, SWEET, AND RICH PIÑA READY FOR FERMENTING AS WELL AS ENSURING A CLEAN OUTCOME MINIMIZING ANY POSSIBLE BACTERIA BUILD UP. AFTER ROASTING THE PIÑA IS THEN SHREDDED AND JUICES EXTRACTED FOR FERMENTING.

NEXT IS THE FERMENTING WHICH IS DONE IN AN OPEN AIR ENVIRONMENT. THIS PROCESS IS UNRUSHED WITH A SPECIAL STRAND OF YEAST ADDED TO CONTROL AND CREATE A CONSISTENTLY HIGH QUALITY SPIRIT. THE RESULT IS A LUXURIOUS, ROBUST TEQUILA READY FOR DISTILLATION. THE TEQUILA IS THEN TWICE DISTILLED IN POT STILLS CREATING THE FINEST SMALL BATCH TEQUILA AVAILABLE TODAY.

Judging at The Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine

In mid-August of 2014, the organizers of the 6th Annual Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine, which took place on October 11, 2014, graciously asked Tequila Aficionado Media CEO, Mike Morales, to participate as a judge.  Their unique, take-at-home blind tequila tasting competition used the Tequila Matchmaker smartphone application to score and bestow awards.  You can review the results of the tasting competition here.

Take-Home Test

I dreaded tests and pop quizzes in school.  I never did well on them no matter how long I studied.  The only answer for someone like me to improve his grade was to do extra credit work.  Often, that meant the blessing of the occasional take-home test.

The entire text book, notes and other related materials was at my disposal.  In addition, the stress of competing against my smarter classmates was lifted, as well as any pressure about time limits.

Really, it was a license to cheat!  How could I go wrong?

That’s why the concept of the take-home cata made the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine’s tasting competition so intriguing for me.

 Matchmaker, Matchmaker,

Make Me A Match…

Grover Sanschagrin, co-founder of TasteTequila.com, is the designer of Tequila Matchmaker, the only smartphone application to date that aids tequila

TasteTequila

TasteTequila

aficionados in finding tequilas that are suitable to their taste preferences.  It also allows enthusiasts to rate and grade brands on a sliding numerical scale.

Grover has introduced Tequila Matchmaker in some of the leading and trending tequila bars in the US.  The Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine is the first event to exclusively use the Tequila Matchmaker app for its blind tasting competition.

Grover Sanschagrin of TasteTequila.com.

Grover Sanschagrin of TasteTequila.com.

In this Facebook interview, Grover shares some of his thoughts on the aftermath of the competition.

TA:  So…did the results amaze you?

GS:  Not really.  I wish there were more brands involved so we could get a better comparison.

Last year, when we announced the results, several brands were in the room.  They immediately asked questions about the judges.  This gave me the idea to “test” the judges as a way of giving the brands an idea of who they were dealing with.
So, duplicating a tequila as a way to “judge the judges” was my answer.  A total experiment.  Not totally scientific, but definitely interesting.

TA:  Did they know who the judges were this time around?

GS:  No, we didn’t disclose which judges gave which scores.  Also, all of the judges, except for one, did well.

TA:  Did they know the names of the judges on the roster?
GS:  I believe so.

Also, rating these tequilas from home is a totally different method than rating them with all of the judges in the same room.  Not that any one is better than the other, just

Freddy the Cat judging añejos.

Freddy the Cat judging añejos.

that they are different.

I would actually like to try an experiment where the same judges rate things at home, and then again, together (like the SOM [Spirits of Mexico competition] format) and then see the differences.
Grover continues…
GS:  I also want to experiment with the order of the selection.  We can actually use our app to create a random order for each person, so nobody will have the same [order].
Ready to judge for Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine.

Ready to judge for Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine.

TA:  That would be a cool variable.

GS:  For me at SOM [Grover was a judge at 2014’s contest], palate fatigue is an issue, so it would be interesting to see if tequilas at the end of the line tend to do better.  I am fascinated by blind ratings, so I’m having a blast trying all these new experiments.
TA:  I think [for me] tequilas at the beginning of the line may also suffer from palate “under work.”

GS:  In our blind tasting tour, we found just the opposite.  The tequilas in slots 1 and 2 tended to score higher that 3-6.  No idea why, really – but it was clear in the comparison of the events.

Beginning of the line for blanco category.

Beginning of the line for blanco category.

TA:  Did the time of day also make a difference?
GS:  It was mid afternoon for all of the events.
TA:  So time of day was pretty consistent?
GS:  I know that the SOM guys insist that spirits must be evaluated in the morning, but that seems a little odd to me.  I think the judge needs to be consistent, but should be able to choose when they drink.  I don’t usually drink in the morning. usually. :-).  There’s an element of “real life” that isn’t present when you drink Tapatio 110 at 9am.

TA:  Did the certified catador do better than was expected?

GS:  Nope.

Rant Alert!

Before I go into my pros and cons of rating tequilas using the Tequila Matchmaker app for the Monterey Bay Tequila & Cuisine, let me get a few pet peeves off my chest.

Judging Competitions–What A Concept!

In all my time studying, analyzing and observing the Tequila Industry, not once have I ever known any tequila enthusiast, purist, newbie, connoisseur, collector or consumer (let alone brand owner and/or importer) to be happy with the results of any spirits judging competition.

Whether it’s the venerable San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the respected Beverage Testing Institute, the famed Spirits of Mexico, or any of the smaller, regional tasting events throughout the country, no one has ever been completely happy or agreed entirely with the outcomes.

The older the judging tournaments are, the more importance their annual medal counts are given by an unsuspecting public who only purchase award winning beers, wines and spirits based on their perceived value, instead of trusting its own taste buds.

Those long running competitions become more expensive to enter, forcing smaller more deserving brands out and leaving the larger, transnational corporations with deeper portfolios and bigger budgets to duke it out.

Accusations of alleged backroom negotiations for awards has also been an issue, of late.

And let’s not forget the most lucrative part of the tasting event–

Licensing

Paying for the rights to use the competition’s branded medals and seals in addition to the entry fees per spirits expression submitted.

Yet, spirits brands in general, and tequila brands in particular, continue to allocate hard-earned marketing dollars toward entering these yearly competitions for the privilege of hanging neck tags from their bottles or affixing stickers onto their labels named for precious metals or gemstones.

Double Vibranium, anyone?

Collecting medals and awards have gone the way of tattoos and piercings–

Everyone has them, and the novelty and mystique have worn off.

At the end of the day, it seems like everyone who participated in the competitions scored some sort of hardware and the rest of us are left shaking our heads in dismay or agreement.

Lastly…

Scoring

Monterey Bay blanco category and glassware.

Monterey Bay blanco category and glassware.

I was once told by a very respected spirits writer that a unified scoring system was good for an event should the organizers decide to hold other branded spirits competitions.

Puh-leez!

Whoever said that a templated numerical  scoring method used to grade different kinds of spirits was appropriate for tequila tastings?  Diffusers aside, tequila itself is so unique, it doesn’t compare with the flavor profiles of all other spirits, so why rate them that way?

How about a rating system that’s good for the juice instead of one that’s good for the show?  (BTW…one already exists.)

Pros And Cons

Pro–scoring on the Tequila Matchmaker app is amazingly simple.

Con–There’s no numerical rating for the tequilas’ appearance on the Tequila Matchmaker app.  Takes the whole sensorial feeling out of tequila tasting.  Only your nose and mouth get to have all the fun.

Pro–Shipping two ounce samples is neat and cost effective for the organizers of the show.

Con–See what happens when minis are compromised.  (Warning:  It’s not pretty.)

I particularly found that my sealed reposado samples were extremely alcohol-y even after sitting at room temperature for a couple of days.

Pro–It’s lovely to take your time judging samples at your leisure.  I agree with

You never know who might stop by to help judge tequila.

You never know who might stop by to help judge tequila.

 

Grover that it saves on palate fatigue, too.

 

Con–I miss the camaraderie of other expert judges and learning from them.  It ups your game like playing one-on-one with LeBron James or batting against Clayton Kershaw.

 

Pro–Depending on my schedule, I chose what time of day to judge my samples.

 

Con–According to the guidelines set forth by the original Mexican Tequila Academy, tastings should begin by 11 AM when a catador’s (tequila taster’s) palate is freshest.  [See also their tequila scoring sheet and criteria.]  This article here explains where this custom began.

 

Pro–I knew which glassware and other tips and tools to use to make me, as a judge, more effective.

 

Con–The lack of uniformity and protocol among the judges could have affected the final results.

 

Pro–It was exciting to use Tequila Matchmaker’s breakthrough scoring system.

 

Con–I can’t, in all honesty, say that I was pleased with the awarded outcomes or my graded performance.

 

See!  What did I tell you?  I hate tests. 

 

Tequila Tuesday #TequilaChat

TequilaChat

Join us for Tequila Tuesday on November 18th at 1pm CT as we host our first Twitter #TequilaChat with Trianon Tequila.

Join us here at Tequila Aficionado and click on #TequilaChat in the main menu – or click on this link – and click on the JOIN button.

Would you like your tequila featured in our next #tequilachat?  Drop us a line at tequilachat@tequilaaficionado.com or visit our #TequilaChat page for more information.

TequilaChat

 

According to Trianon:
OUR BLANCO IS THE SECRET TO OUR AÑEJO.

Our family takes great care to make each of our tequilas the same way we have for generations—by hand. We think that’s the only way to make tequila that captures the true taste of blue agave. So, that’s what you’ll find in every bottle of Trianon: True agave taste with a smooth and satisfying finish. Try all three expressions of Trianon and discover the true taste of tequila for yourself.

We age our Blanco a full eighteen months in specially made American and French oak barrels to make Trianon Añejo. Because that’s how long it takes to strike the perfect balance between the taste of oak and agave. We could stop at 12 months like other makers—but by now you know that’s not the Trianon way. Aging longer allows the oak’s rich flavor to reach its full expression, perfectly complimenting the true agave taste of our tequila. With its warm, amber color and sweet aroma, our Añejo is best savored neat.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Trianon Tequila Anejo

trianon tequila, anejo, tequila aficionadoTequila Aficionado’s Mike Morales and Alex Perez taste and discuss Trianon Tequila Anejo and explain why they’ve nominated it as a 2014 Brand of Promise.

“If you’re looking for a tequila with personality and depth, look no further than Trianon Tequila.  This is an unabashedly unadulterated, old school tequila for true tequila lovers.” ~Lisa Pietsch, Tequila Aficionado 

Trianon Tequila Anejo

Trianon tequila prides itself on using no automated equipment instead choosing traditional, batch distillation methods to produce their tequila. Theirs is an estate tequila in that they grown their own agave in the volcanic soil of Amatitan in Jalisco.

Trianon Tequila Anejo

We age our Blanco a full eighteen months in specially made American and French oak barrels to make Trianon Añejo. Because that’s how long it takes to strike the perfect balance between the taste of oak and agave. We could stop at 12 months like other makers—but by now you know that’s not the Trianon way. Aging longer allows the oak’s rich flavor to reach its full expression, perfectly complimenting the true agave taste of our tequila. With its warm, amber color and sweet aroma, our Añejo is best savored neat.

 

WebsiteFacebookTwitter


Never miss an article or review again – Subscribe now!

* indicates required

Email Format

View previous newsletters.


Sipping Off The Cuff: Trianon Reposado Tequila

trianon tequila, reposado, tequila aficionado, trianon reposadoTrianon Reposado

Tequila Aficionado’s Mike Morales and Alex Perez taste and discuss Trianon Tequila Reposado and explain why they’ve nominated it as a 2014 Brand of Promise.

“If you’re looking for a tequila with personality and depth, look no further than Trianon Tequila.  This is an unabashedly unadulterated, old school tequila for true tequila lovers.” ~Lisa Pietsch, Tequila Aficionado 

 

 

Trianon Tequila Reposado

Our family takes great care to make each of our tequilas the same way we have for generations—by hand. We think that’s the only way to make tequila that captures the true taste of blue agave. So, that’s what you’ll find in every bottle of Trianon: True agave taste with a smooth and satisfying finish. Try all three expressions of Trianon and discover the true taste of tequila for yourself.

The remarkable success of our Reposado is owed to beginning with our uncompromising Blanco. The transformation occurs when we rest our Blanco in specially made American and French Oak barrels for six months—four months longer than Mexican law requires. The result is a true agave taste and smoothness combined with complex notes of aged oak.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter


Never miss an article or review again – Subscribe now!

* indicates required

Email Format

View previous newsletters.